Decanter magazine highlights Pancrudo among the world's best Grenache buys

The journalist Oz Clarke has chosen the wine of Gómez Cruzado as the only representative of Rioja

10 of May of 2018

PANCRUDO, from the boutique winery of BARRIO DE LA ESTACIÓN GÓMEZ CRUZADO, is one of the world's best Grenache buys as published by the magazine DECANTER, in a selection of wines of this variety made by multiple award-winning wine writer and broadcaster Oz Clarke. With the title 'Glorious Grenache' DECANTER brings to its cover the value of the Grenache variety as one of the most important in the world and, until recently, the most widely planted black grape variety.

DECANTER's experts from around the world nominated the best Grenache in their respective regions. Oz Clarke tasted them all and selected his favourites. The monovarietal PANCRUDO 2015 is the only Grenache chosen from Rioja. "I'm delighted to see a 100% Grenache Rioja here (in the list), because I support the move away from the dominance of Tempranillo in the area", says Clarke. DECANTER's contributor emphasizes that when is elaborated as a 100% varietal "Grenache needs skill and commitment".

PANCRUDO is a village wine born in the old vineyards around Badarán in the Upper Najerilla Valley: a premountainous landscape with a cold and humid climate. This late-ripening area pushes the limits for growing Grenache. In a traditionally claret region, Grenache exhibits a unique, delicate and subtle character. This variety has been rediscovered to craft red wines with great finesse, minerality, acidity and fruitiness.

Regarding the recovery of the Grenache variety, Oz Clarke highlights: "The wide availability of old Grenache vines across much of Spain and southern France means that grapes can be bought or land can be leased, relatively affordably. This is massively important for the new wave of winemakers. Grapes that used to be carted off to the local co-op for barely more than production costs are now being properly valued and cherished".

"And how much new oak should be used?", asks Clarke. "Again, I don't think new oak works very well with high-strenght Grenache unless it is very skilfully employed. Grenache can suck out wood tannins far too quickly, and its fruit is quite rich enough not to need help". 

This is the focus of the elaboration of PANCRUDO, in the search towards the purest expression of the terroir. Thus, malolactic fermentation takes place in a cement egg-shaped tank and French oak barrels with a specially selected toast so as not to interfere with the wine's basic character. 65% of production ages for 12 months in new French oak barrels, while 35% spends this time in the egg-shaped tank.


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